Give me that old time religion! In 2002, Jay Nordlinger wrote in National Review Online:
Jerry Taylor of the Cato Institute tells a story about Julian Simon, the late and great economist.He was at some environmental forum, and he said, “How many people here believe that the earth is increasingly polluted and that our natural resources are being exhausted?” Naturally, every hand shot up. He said, “Is there any evidence that could dissuade you?” Nothing. Again: “Is there any evidence I could give you — anything at all — that would lead you to reconsider these assumptions?” Not a stir. Simon then said, “Well, excuse me, I’m not dressed for church.”
I love that story, for what it says about the fixity of these beliefs, immune to evidence, reason, or anything else.
These days, church is certainly dressed for environmentalism.
Charles Krauthammer once dubbed global warming the successor religion to Christianity. Harvey Mansfield called it “School prayer for liberals.” They weren’t kidding. As Bryan Preston wrote at the Tatler yesterday, quoting from this Daily Caller article, “Both Good Friday and Earth Day fall on April 22 this year, and the Episcopal Church is going green over red:”
The Episcopal Church’s office of Economic and Environmental Affairs released a statement urging followers to stay mindful of global warming, recycling and reducing carbon dioxide emissions while celebrating the ancient Christian holiday in 2011.
“This year Earth Day falls within Holy Week, specifically on Good Friday, a profound coincidence,” said Mike Schut, a church spokesman. “To fully honor Earth Day, we need to reclaim the theology that knows Earth is ‘very good,’ is holy. When we fully recognize that, our actions just may begin to create a more sustainable, compassionate economy and way of life.”
Wow. They’re substituting the secular (and very questionable) for the Sacrifice. Just…wow.
Schut continued: “On Good Friday, the day we mark the crucifixion of Christ, God in the flesh, might we suggest that when Earth is degraded, when species go extinct, that another part of God’s body experiences yet another sort of crucifixion — that another way of seeing and experiencing God is diminished?”
No word yet if they’re making it official by following the lead of the Napa Valley hotel that replaced the King James Bible with the Al Gore Bible.
I was raised Catholic, but spent my formative years attending an Episcopalian prep school with mandatory chapel service each week. I don’t recall anything there approaching this level of political correctness — I wonder what my teachers there would think of today’s incarnation of the religion?
Update: The late Michael Crichton in 2003: “Environmentalism is a religion.”